By Molly Daly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – On Thanksgiving Day in 1976, ‘The Band’ went out in style with “The Last Waltz,” a star-studded concert filmed by Martin Scorcese. On Saturday night at the Trocadero, some of the Delaware Valley’s most talented musicians will recreate the event with Garth Hudson, one of two surviving Band members, sitting in on keyboards.
“It’s a Philadelphia Tribute to the Last Waltz, benefiting Philadelphia schoolchildren,” Fergie Carey explains.
Carey, of Fergie’s Pub and Monk’s Cafe, among others, says he’s been dreaming about recreating “The Last Waltz” for years. And, with the school district’s financial straits dominating the recent headlines, Fergie and his co-producers decided making the event a benefit would fit the bill.
“”It might be a spit in the bucket and there are big problems but at least we’re gonna try,” he said.
As it happens, special guest Garth Hudson is a perfect fit in more than just the musical sense.
“He’s gonna do a meet-and-greet, and talk about the making of the movie,” says Fergie. “And he’s also passionate about education. This being a fundraiser for Philadelphia schoolchildren, he’s psyched about that.”
As in the original concert, the core band will be joined by more than 30 guest artists, including David Uossikkinnen, Wesley Stace (aka John Wesley Harding), Ali Wadsworth, and Ben Arnold.
“I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in on the rehearsals,” Fergie says, “and it sounds fantastic. And we have a horn section that could blow anyone away.”
Four organizations will get the proceeds. “Parents United for Public Education, the Passyunk Square Civic Association Education Committee, which would give money to Andrew Jackson School, Friends of Horatio B. Hackett School,” and, says Fergie, “also the School District of Philadelphia’s Music Education Instrument Repair Program. All are in desperate need of money.”
Hear Molly’s full interview with Fergie Carey (trt: 6:20)…
General admission Tickets to A Philadelphia Tribute to “The Last Waltz” at the Trocadero are $25. Limited VIP tickets are $100, and include pre-show meet-and-greet.